Google Lens is now available on almost all Android devices, plus iPhones, having previously been an option only on Google Pixel phones. It scans photos from which you can extract any text it recognizes (for example, on a gas bill, a passport or handwritten note). You can then share or copy this to other apps on your device. If you have a photo of a business card, say, you can save all the details on it with one tap. The app also uses machine-learning technology to recognize famous buildings and landmarks, as well as books, plants, and animals within your photos.
To use Google Lens, you need to install the Google Photos app. If you already use this, skip to next step. If not, install the app from play store and open it. In case you are an iPhone user, you can install Google Photos App from Apple store.
To copy and paste words from a picture, open Google Photos, then tap the image from which you want to copy text.
On the bottom menu, you will see the Google Lens icon. Click it, and you will be greeted with the one time Get started screen.
Continue, and the algorithm will start scanning your image for text and any other relevant information. If your photo contains dates, you’ll see the option to add the first date to your calendar. This opens your calendar app from where you can name the event, edit its details, set a reminder, add a location reminder, and more. Google Lens also displays any relevant Wikipedia links to subjects that appear in your document.
To copy all the text in your photo, tap Text selection. You’ll now see all the text in your picture. Tap inside the section to select it all.
You’ll see options to run a web search for it or share it to compatible apps on your device (such as Facebook, WhatsApp or Gmail). Tap Copy. Now open the app you want, tap and hold where you want to insert the text, then tap Paste. You can now edit any of the text if necessary. It can recognize text in handwritten notes, but its accuracy will depend on how legible the handwriting is.
You can also use the same method for saved screenshots containing text (for example, WhatsApp conversations or Facebook posts).
One of the best features of Google Lens is its ability to extract information from a photo of a business card and provide useful one-tap options. Open a picture of a business card within Google Photos, then tap the Google Lens icon. You’ll see the option to save that contact’s info (name, telephone number, email and home/work address) to your device with one tap. Scroll across the top row to see options to call any of the numbers, send an email or get directions to the address on the card.